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In an attempt to help others cure their scaries–or to give people movie recommendations, I haven’t decided yet–I’m going to review the movies I watch and give them an overall rating at the end. Let’s see how this goes!
Also, just as a heads up, if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to spoil the shit out of it.
Movie: Doctor Strange
Streaming Service: Netflix
Synopsis: After a debilitating accident, a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon hopes to heal by learning the magical arts from an ancient mystic.
I haven’t seen a Marvel movie since the original Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. The whole series of movies has gotten to the point where it seems like a soap opera. Since all the films are connected in one universe, once you miss one, you fall behind. Well, I missed one. And then the next one. And then the next one. And then I went on living my life and nothing really changed, so I was cool with not seeing them again.
That is, until this afternoon when I was trying to figure out what to watch after the Bears game. No matter what category I scrolled through on Netflix, I kept seeing Doctor Strange pop up. I figured since it was an introduction story I wouldn’t need to know much of what’s going on in the MCU, and lo and behold, I was right.
I have a ton of thoughts about Doctor Strange, but ultimately we can boil them down into two: “This was a terrible movie to watch while hungover and nauseous,” and “Wow, I really should have smoked some weed before this.”
Visually, the movie is stunning. The characters essentially have the ability to warp the world around them by bending space and time, creating an effect similar to some of the dream sequences in Inception. However in this movie, the world turns into a giant kaleidoscope every time they do it. Super cool and catchy at first, but after the 20th time it gets draining and made me dizzy.
The actual story itself felt a little bit like the folks at Marvel thought to themselves, “What if we took Dr. House and gave him superpowers.” Doctor Strange (the character) is a super-rich, egotistical, sarcastic neurosurgeon who is suddenly plunged into a world where he has to has to rely on magic powers that he doesn’t fully understand to…survive? Heal himself? Protect humanity? Honestly his motivation changes, like, three times throughout the movie so I couldn’t keep track of who he was trying to save or why.
I specifically want to focus on Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Doctor Strange. I think what’s bothering me the most about it is that it didn’t seem natural for him. It seemed like he was trying to emulate Robert Downey Jr. during 90 percent of the movie. If I wanted to watch RDJ be a charismatic asshole, I would have put on literally any RDJ movie. The only scene that stood out to me was when he yelled at Rachel McAdams because it was the only time he managed to show any emotion at all.
Finally, let’s talk about the actual plot of the movie. For someone as egocentric as Strange is, you would think he would be much more into the idea of going to a different dimension where time doesn’t exist and everyone can live forever. Yes, we know that it’s a bad place, but he seems like he would be into that kind of thing. On top of that, so much time is spent talking about different dimensions, but the best parts of the movie are the ones that deal with reversing time. In my totally unprofessional opinion, I think there could have been a much better plot where the bad guys were trying to go back in time and screw everything up as opposed to making people immortal.
At the end of the day, we need to look at Doctor Strange for what it is: an okay movie that will ultimately become a plot device in the larger Avengers series, accompanied by incredible visuals and shitty Beyonce references. That being said, if you’re looking for something that you don’t have to think too much about to toss on during your Sunday Scaries, this is a great one.
Overall Rating: 2.8 out of 5 dimensions flipped..